Letter: Keep Crystal Valley pristine

I have been a Crystal Valley resident since the late 1980s. I have been to more meetings about this than I can count. We owned a home in Carbondale in the late 1990s for a time while the kids were in high school. Afterward, we moved back to the Crystal Valley.

I went to meetings in Redstone about the trail during the time we lived in Carbondale. This topic is very close to my heart. My husband rode in Ride the Rockies; he has been an avid bicycler. We hike, cross-country ski, bike, fish and enjoy the night sky and all things pristine. I have been a business owner in Redstone. Point being we aren’t sit-in-the-house, don’t-get-it residents.

Here is the catch: Because much of the land around the area is federal does not mean you ought to be allowed to enjoy it by stepping on it. The Crystal Valley is one of the most absolutely pristine areas in the state if not the entire country. Example: Filoha Meadows is untouched except for the wildlife and Penny Hot Springs soakers on the other side of the river.

The argument that everyone should be able to “enjoy” the lands is a joke at best. Living here is a privilege, and no day is taken for granted. Note: Pitkin County has spent millions and millions in taxpayer money on open space in the Crystal Valley. There have been countless hours planning how to use these open spaces. To think the taxpayers (it won’t be free) need to spend millions upon millions more to be able to step on federal lands is not even logical. There are public trails all around Redstone and the entire Crystal Valley — Coal Basin, East Creek to the Snowmass Wilderness, the Perham Creek Trail, the McClure Pass Trail, Chair Mountain, the Avalanche Creek Trail, the Marble trails, Lead King Basin, Crystal Mill and Crystal River access to name a few.

I have nothing against the governor of Colorado, but I would bet he has not spent much time in the Crystal Valley. To quote him doesn’t do much to impress me. The bike trail from Snowmass Drive in Carbondale to BRB cost, what, $8 million? Where did the money come from?

Have you all noticed the very high metal fencing along that stretch? The animals are caught between the highway and the fence. There are places people can enjoy, and there are places where animals are destined to live. And there is property that is privately owned. Safety is a concern.

Families will always find a place to recreate; they always have. Humans do not need to be everywhere. The real legacy at hand is to keep the Crystal River Valley pristine. This is what will be remembered and loved for generations to come, not a bike trail.

Nancy Chromy